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FTC Offers Plan to Clarify Debt Collections Rules for Deceased Consumers 

October 4, 2010 -- The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on a proposed policy statement clarifying when the agency will take action against companies trying to collect the debts of deceased consumers. In collecting these debts, the federal law generally allows collectors to contact only the decedent’s spouse, or the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. FTC noted that some state probate laws have expanded the types of people who are authorized to pay a decedent’s debts from assets in the decedent’s estate, beyond the categories expressly permitted under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. FTC’s proposal would reconcile federal requirements with state probate law developments. The statement also provides guidance about what collectors must do to identify people with whom they may communicate about paying the decedent’s debt without improperly revealing the debt to others. Comments on the statement are due by Nov. 8. More information
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